Have you ever noticed that the word “free” is a really powerful word? And I don’t mean it’s a powerful word just in the sense of a people being free as in the Middle East and North Africa today. I mean as in giving things away for free. It brings people in the door and makes them much more likely to be interested in what you have to say.
Now here’s the great part about giving away free stuff: it doesn’t have to cost you anything and can in fact make you piles of cash. Here’s how:
Attracting Traffic to Your Website
I run a website on personal finance. Currently, I give away the blog for free. However, I’m working on an eBook, which I’ll be giving away for free as well. However, in order to make the offer more enticing, I plan to make three versions of the eBook.
One version will be a PDF, which is given away for free on my blog and the other two versions will be Kindle and ePub versions, which will be sold in various online stores. Now you may be wondering why I’m willing to give away copies of a book I’ve spent months working on and which I still expect to spend several more months on as well.
The answer is the same reason that Yasir gives away a free newsletter here at QuantumSEO Labs: because it’s a great way to get people to keep coming back to your website. And as we all know, the more people visiting your website on a regular basis, the more money you stand to earn over the long term.
Even if I couldn’t get any other benefit from giving away a freebie, I’d be doing it for that purpose because it gives more perceived value to my website, which in turn increases the amount of traffic I’m getting.
Build an Email List
Here’s the secret of my freebie (and virtually every freebie on the web): I’m not giving it away just to be a nice guy. I’m giving it away in order to build a mailing list for myself.
That’s one reason I plan to try offering it for sale in other versions. I want people to realize that the book is valuable in and of itself and that I value the fact that they are willing to take the time to sign up with my blog. Therefore, I give them a book I plan to charge $5.99 for elsewhere.
However, if they want the book but don’t want to sign up, I plan to give them an option other than clicking away from my site: pay money to buy the book. And you know what? Human psychology being what it is, I doubt that many people will be willing to pay good money for something they can have for free. This means ultimately, I’ll get to build a nice big mailing list.
Sell Within the Freebie
In addition to offering a free eBook (and I’ve deliberately avoided saying what the topic is because I want to finish it before anyone knows), I plan to offer a free newsletter to people who subscribe. The only way to get the newsletter will be through subscription, just like the only way to see my twitter feed is on Twitter or Facebook (I’m @thepfhc by the way).
In that newsletter, I plan to offer plenty of genuinely useful information for my readers, material they won’t find on my blog. However, just like any other useful newsletter, I also plan to include advertising to help pay for it. Basically, I can give it away and sell products within my freebie.
Plus, that eBook I’m giving away? I plan to include a link back to my blog and may include an ad or two in the free version as well. Not enough to be annoying, but enough that I can potentially make more money when people actually read it. Now that’s a great reason to give away a freebie!